The following is a selection of Australian racing tips for Saturday, September 8. The focus is on the Stan Fox Stakes (Race 4), Theo Marks Stakes (Race 5), The Run to the Rose (Race 6) and the Sheraco Stakes (Race 7) at Rosehill, as well as the McEwen Stakes (Race 5) and Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (Race 8) at Moonee Valley. Doomben and Morphettville are also covered.
More tips and previews will be added as they become available.
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Best bets of the day
Moonee Valley Race 5, No.2 Nature Strip
Moonee Valley Race 8, No.1 Hartnell
Rosehiil Race 8, No.11 Soothing
Race 6, No.12 From Within – BEST BET – 4.5 stars
Race 7, No.1 Sold For Song – 4 stars
Race 7, No.6 Peaceful State – each-way – 3.5 stars
Race 8, No.1 Hartnell – BEST BET – 4.5 stars
Race 9, No.5 Divine Unicorn – 4 stars
Back Quilista (13.00) win and place with 1 unit a win and 4 units a place (2.00)
3. Night’s Watch
Back Hartnell (3.80) to win.
Race 8, #9, BONNEVAL
Betting Confidence: High
Back – #2 Nature Strip
Betting Confidence: High
Lay – #7 Night’s Watch
Race 1: NAANTALI
Race 2: THE AVENGER
Race 3: MUSWELLBROOK
Race 4: TRAP FOR FOOLS
Race 5: NATURE STRIP
Race 6: GONGS
Race 7: OSBORNE BULLS
Race 8: HARTNELL
Race 9: RISING RED
Runners are listed in number order, not order of preference.
Race 5: 1 Viridine, 2 Nature Strip, 5 Shoals, 7 Quilista
Race 8: 1 Hartnell, 4 Odeon, 7 Night’s Watch, 11 Hiyaam
NATURE STRIP (2) Should take care of this fairly comfortably on its way to bigger and better things this prep. Clearly the one to beat. SHOALS (5) Has a good record first up with 3 wins from 4 attempts. Landed the spoils when winning last time at Morphettville. No surprise to see a forward showing and one of the main hopes in this race. HOUTZEN (6) Will be finishing strongly and if anything is going to beat the favourite, this is the one. Each way hopes. QUILISTA (7) Consistent mare who can be competitive here. Looks a good place bet.
Selections: 2 Nature Strip, 5 Shoals, 6 Houtzen, 7 Quilista
NIGHT’S WATCH (7) Looks ready to step up to the next level and should have an impact today. Rates on top in an open race. HARTNELL (1) Veteran warhorse who rarely puts in a bad performance. Will benefit from last start and should be thereabouts. AMBITIOUS (2) Possesses plenty of ability and can take this out if he puts it all together. Each way bet. BONNEVAL (9) Resumes today and was the winner of this race last year. May need the run but anything resembling her best form would see her go very close.
Selections: 7 Night’s Watch, 1 Hartnell, 2 Ambitious, 9 Bonneval
SPEED: 2 leads 3, 6 and 7 I’d say. NATURE STRIP is the best/fastest sprinter in the country up to 1100m in my humble. He continues to smash the clock and sustain speed. Oh, and win by big margins. VIRIDINE made good ground on Redzel when fresh last prep at 1000m at WFA. He was only 2.9 lengths off him on the line and they broke the track record. SHOALS looks sharp off the trials but a fast 1000m may be a bridge too far. She will be closing strongly. QUILISTA went super fresh. HOUTZEN and SUNDAY ESCAPE are place hopes.
Selections: 2. Nature Strip, 1. Viridine, 5. Shoals, 7. Quilista
SPEED: 4 may lead 10 with 1, 6, 11 close up. 7 next? BONNEVAL resumes off a long break. She is high-class and won this race very well fresh up last year before beating HARTNELL in the G1 Underwood. Hartnell is not the horse he was but was gallant fresh in Lawrence, beating home Humidor and Kings Will Dream (both great last week in Memsie). NIGHT’S WATCH is the fresh blood: great return then brilliant win last week running faster closing sectionals (and faster overall time) than Humidor in that Memsie! HOMESMAN a hope but 1600m? HIYAAM (wants further now?) and AMBITIOUS are chances.
Selections: 9. Bonneval, 7. Night’s Watch, 1. Hartnell, 6. Homesman
NATURE STRIP let-up and last start win at Morphettville took streak to three in a row, will take the power of beating. SHOALS resumes after an 18 week spell and trialling well, each-way claims. QUILISTA finished strongly to end up midfield last start at Moonee Valley when resuming and won four of 12 as a favourite, in with a chance. VIRIDINE resumes after a spell of 16 weeks and proven first-up runner winning in two of three attempts, place chance.
NIGHT’S WATCH known to be strong late and won six of 12 as a favourite, big chance. HIYAAM finished a length back from the leader last start at Moonee Valley when resuming and generally races near the speed, not the worst. HARTNELL only just missed last start, finishing half a length back from the winner in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes when fresh and six from 12 wins have been in the dry, quinella. ODEON faded to finish on the winners’ heels last start at Moonee Valley and drawn ideally, place only.
Interesting speed battle here with Nature Strip drawn inside Sunday Escape. Despite the presence of a triple-Group 1 winning mare it is hard to tip against NATURE STRIP after his demolition job on subsequent winner Sunlight in Adelaide Lightning Stks last start. Took control before the corner that day and won by 6 lengths without being extended. On the Everest path and should prove too slick again. SHOALS is a mighty mare who won three Group 1 races in her 3YO year. Trialling well for this return but might find the favourite a bit too strong with his race fitness advantage. HOUTZEN loves Moonee Valley and is a good fresh horse. Lacks the quality of the top pair but can run a place for trifecta punters. VIRIDINE has won 2/3 first up and is another one that must be included in multis.
1. Nature Strip (5 stars)
2. Shoals (4 stars)
3. Houtzen (4 stars)
Good tempo likely as Spanish Reef leads from Hiyaam. HARTNELL returned last start with a slashing 2nd in the Lawrence over 1400m at Caulfield, driving late on the fence to just miss. Beautifully placed here second up and the big fella will enjoy plenty of galloping room from gate nine. Top-shelf Kiwi mare BONNEVAL has not raced since failing in last year’s Caulfield Cup. Made a sweeping run to win this race last year when resuming from a spell, albeit over Abbey Marie who is no Hartnell. Back from a throat operation but trialling well and a win would be no surprise. The new kid on the block is NIGHT’S WATCH who came with a powerful run to score a convincing win over 1400m at Caulfield last Saturday. Massive class ride today but has the Weir-factor. Oaks placegetter HIYAAM impressed first up and has the right profile to run very well here.
1. Hartnell (5 stars)
2. Bonneval (4 stars)
3. Night’s Watch (4 stars)
Race 2, No.1 Gytrash – 4.5 stars
Race 4, No.4 Kyzamba – each-way – 3.5 stars
Race 7, No.3 Benny Goes Berzerk – 3.5 stars
Race 2, No.7 Highway Sixtysix – 4.5 stars
Race 8, No.11 Soothing – 4 stars
Back Trapeze Artist (3.00) to win.
Back Soothing (2.40) to win.
Race 3, #1, DON’T GIVE A DAMN – lay bet (bet against this horse with Betfair)
Race 8, #11, SOOTHING – best bet
Race 9, #3, EAGLE BAY – value bet
LAY (WIN) Trapeze Artist for 5 units
Betting Confidence: Medium
Lay – #1 The Autumn Sun
Betting Confidence: Medium
Lay – #1 Trapeze Artist
Betting Confidence: Medium
Back – #8 Long Leaf
Betting Confidence: Medium
Lay – #6 Champagne Cuddles
Race 1: MANDYLION
Race 2: HIGHWAY SIXTYSIX
Race 3: DON’T GIVE A DAMN
Race 4: THE AUTUMN SUN
Race 5: HOME OF THE BRAVE
Race 6: PERFORMER
Race 7: CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES
Race 8: SHE KNOWS
Race 9: GAMBLESTOWN
Runners are listed in number order, not order of preference.
Race 4: 1 The Autumn Sun, 5 Master Ash, 10 Dealmaker
Race 5: 1 Trapeze Artist, 3 Shillelagh, 4 D’Argento, 8 Siege of Quebec
Race 6: 1 Zousain, 2 Lean Mean Machine, 3 Graff, 4 Performer
Race 7: 2 Formality, 3 Invincibella, 6 Champagne Cuddles
THE AUTUMN SUN (1) Back from a break. Fought on well to win last start at Doomben. Expect a strong showing. MASTER ASH (5) Was first to greet the judge when winning last start at Randwick and gets a favourable alley. Is expected to be going forward early. Has scope so do not ignore. DANAWI (6) Fought on gamely when winning last run around here but rising in class. Won’t be far away during the run. One at a bit of odds. IRUKANDJI (3) Second up from a spell. Really dug deep when winning three runs back here but facing a stronger grade today. A win wouldn’t surprise.
Selections: 1 The Autumn Sun, 5 Master Ash, 6 Danawi, 3 Irukandji
TRAPEZE ARTIST (1) Proven record when resuming. Fought on well to win last run at Randwick in the All Aged and back in an easier grade. Major player. D’ARGENTO (4) Solid win three runs back here and will be hitting the line strongly. Could take beating. HOME OF THE BRAVE (2) Should race on the speed. Set a strong tempo when 2nd last start at Flemington but should be ready to go second up. Chance to break through here and a could give a show. SIEGE OF QUEBEC (8) Having second run back from a break. Has run into the money here frequently. Ticks plenty of boxes and looks like value.
Selections: 1 Trapeze Artist, 4 D’Argento, 2 Home of the Brave, 8 Siege of Quebec
GRAFF (3) Second up from a spell. Got the cash when winning last run at this venue but facing a stronger class. Should be right in the finish. ZOUSAIN (1) Resuming after a break. Showed promise when winning three runs back at Doomben but is back in trip here. Major hope. PERFORMER (4) Having second run back from a break. Nice run finishing 3rd last start at this course and has minimal work to do from the barrier. Solid each way claims. SANDBAR (7) Second up from a break. Got the upper hand late when winning last run around here but up in grade. Exotics hope in this event.
Selections: 3 Graff, 1 Zousain, 4 Performer, 7 Sandbar
CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES (6) Has multiple wins first up. Good run when placing 3rd two runs back at Doomben and is drawn beautifully here. Can win this. DAYSEE DOOM (1) Thrives at the track winning 5 from 10 runs but racing fresh after a break. Has early speed and positions nicely. Capable of a place here and a good chance. INVINCIBELLA (3) Really dug deep when winning three runs back at Doomben and can go through the gears. Has scope so do not ignore. EGYPTIAN SYMBOL (4) Really dug deep when winning last time at Randwick and third up from a break. Very tidy this campaign winning 1 from 2 attempts. Stays under notice.
Selections: 6 Champagne Cuddles, 1 Daysee Doom, 3 Invincibella, 4 Egyptian Symbol
Lone filly MIZZY takes on the males. DANAWI and MASTER ASH meet again and they can set the speed. Albeit by the skin of his teeth it was good to see DANAWI get a breakthrough and he will have the chance to control proceedings again. Not only does he see MASTER ASH – the horse that beat him two back – but he also reconnects with THE AUTUMN SUN, who had his measure when both made their debut. AUTUMN went to notch a G1 in his first prep of course and I thought his latest trial (finding the line just beautifully behind stablemate Zousain) indicated he could pick up where he left off.
Selections: 1. The Autumn Sun, 5. Master Ash, 6. Danawi
Fair race this. 8, 2 and 1 sort out the front end. Would love to see some evidence of running on before this race, especially as we’ve got some pretty handy horses settling front half here, but I’m going to be with D’ARGENTO to gun them down. A placing to Winx is always the right form to bring to your next start. TRAPEZE ARTIST has poked along just fine in his two trials. Well and truly established as a top grader now and is weighted accordingly here. HOME OF THE BRAVE rock-solid though in defeat down the Flemington stretch. Has come back to Sydney and trialled well last week. FOXPLAY tends to run well fresh and should again.
Selections: 4. D’argento, 1. Trapeze Artist, 2. Home Of The Brave, 5. Foxplay
I fancy JONKER should get out and get running. 10, 4 and 12 at least handy. What sort of start LONG LEAF gives could be crucial but I was very taken with his return run. Very strong to finish from well back and of course he was ahead of Native Solidier there. This bloke had a really testing campaign last time around but I have plenty of faith he’s a future G1 winner. Stablemate SMART ELISSIM, particularly with a soft run likely, is very much ‘in the play’ as well. ZOUSAIN has trialled really nicely, most notably holding off Chautauqua in his latest. GRAFF cruised up and won easily 1st-up. Swaps an inside gate for an outside here but unbeaten and hard to knock.
Selections: 8. Long Leaf, 1. Zousain, 12. Smart Elissim, 3. Graff
MEMES should get back to leading today. 4 and 2 handiest? CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES draws the rail and will need to emerge into clear running at the right time but she has trialled pretty nicely of late – a 2nd to Redzel and then up to Gosford for a 1000m win (admittedly she was ridden along by McDonald to score there). NOIRE and MISS QUE both with a chance on the limit, the former is a real winner and goes well at the start of her campaigns. DAYSEE DOOM is sometimes overlooked and could be again here. She ran 3rd in this 12 months ago (with PERIZADA 2nd).
Selections: 6. Champagne Cuddles, 10. Noire, 1. Daysee Doom
DEALMAKER just missed at long odds last start at Rosehill on a soft track when first up and placed at Gosford in only second-up attempt, commands respect. MASTER ASH has won or placed in all races to date and goes well on a softer track, not without each-way claims. THE AUTUMN SUN resumes from a 13 week spell and has won all three races so far, don’t dismiss. MUSWELLBROOK kept chasing and just missed last start at Flemington on a soft track when fresh, don’t treat lightly.
D’ARGENTO amongst the placegetters last start running third in the Warwick Stakes when fresh and a strong a finisher as they come, tough to beat. SIEGE OF QUEBEC disappointed when placing as favourite last start at Randwick when resuming but rates highly with Tommy Berry back on board and won three of six as a favourite, in with a chance. SHILLELAGH let-up and doesn’t take many to get going winning two when fresh, still in this. TRAPEZE ARTIST resumes after a spell of 20 weeks. Won at Rosehill when last fresh and won two of three first-up, needs the breaks.
Only one real pick to be made. GRAFF has won all three races so far and won last start at Rosehill on a soft track when fresh, big chance. ZOUSAIN back from 13 week spell and winner when on debut at Randwick, chance to place. PERFORMER proven on softer tracks and draws to do no work, place only. LEAN MEAN MACHINE first-up after 13 week break and won at Warwick Farm in first outing, quinella.
CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES back from let-up. Won at Gold Coast when last fresh and won three of four first-up, tough to beat. FORMALITY resumes from an 18 week spell and placed in both lead-up trials, capable of getting into the money. MISS QUE placed when fresh and ran four lengths back from the winner last start at Rosehill, quinella. INVINCIBELLA let-up and proven first-up runner winning in two of six attempts, strong place chance.
Easily one of the main highlights of the afternoon with 11 set to line up in this year’s Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes. THE AUTUMN SUN created a big impression in his maiden preparation, winning all three starts, concluding with the Group 1 J.J. Atkins. Two trials in the lead up have both been rock solid and he should prove very hard to beat with McEvoy sticking aboard. IRUKANDJI loomed up to win first up, before just peaking on his rate late. Open to good improvement off the back of that and looms as a major threat. TARKA won well last start and while stepping sharply in grade, he has to be kept safe with McDonald sticking aboard.
1. The Autumn sun (5 stars)
2. Irukandji (4 stars)
3. Tarka (4 stars)
Cracking race with the much hyped return of the current Everest favourite Trapeze Artist. D’ARGENTO did enough first up in the Winx Stakes to suggest he can sprint well here off a three week break. The Epsom remains the obvious target (next start), but he is very well treated at the weights and has drawn to get a lovely run for Bowman. Hard to beat. TRAPEZE ARTIST has been allotted the big weight, but still appears well placed as he is an out and out superstar. Has trialled very well (for him) in the lead up and commands respect. HOME OF THE BRAVE did a good job in his AUS debut and appears the next in line.
1. D’Argento (5 stars)
2. Trapeze Artist (4 stars)
3. Home Of The Brave (4 stars)
Easily the main highlight of the afternoon with this year’s Group 2 Run To The Rose. GRAFF has a tricky draw to contend with, but it was hard not to be impressed by his return when simply dominant in the San Domenico. Unbeaten from three starts, he looks to have a high ceiling and only needs a touch of luck in running to be winning here. ZOUSAIN went to the paddock in good form and has trialled up very well for his return. Will arguably be better over further, but still commands respect with McDonald in the saddle. PERFORMER can only improve from his first up run and appears the next in line.
1. Graff (5 stars)
2. Zousain (4 stars)
3. Performer (4 stars)
Wide open affair with a host of leading chances in this year’s Group 2 Sheraco Stakes. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES failed to fire in the Tatt’s Club Tiara prior to a break, however her effort in the Stradbroke was very good and she looks in fine fettle for her return. Key booking with McDonald aboard and she has drawn to get a lovely suck run. Hard to beat. INVINCIBELLA went to the paddock in good form and has to be kept safe in her return. Bowman a key booking and she is a noted performer at this C&D. Drawn well, major threat. DAYSEE DOOM is all class, next best.
1. Champagne Cuddles (5 stars)
2. Invincibella (4 stars)
3. Daysee Doom (4 stars)